Karen Alpert, the author of the Baby Sideburns blog, has collected her thoughts on breastfeeding, minivans, nudity in locker rooms, Disney on Ice, travel with small children, potty-training, the evils of Caillou and the virtues of Girl Scout cookies, and any number of other important parental and human issues in this book, which she has warmly and lovingly titled I Heart My Little A-Holes.
The book is written in a series of vignettes, punctuated in between by pithy commentary and quoted conversations. It focuses mostly on her own family experience, with her husband and two kids (a son and a daughter) but branches out in other directions at will.
The author’s brash, vigorous sense of humor takes no prisoners – it is difficult for a parent to read this book without finding something to connect with, and quite a lot to laugh out loud at. She does not hold back from outrageous statements, and says what many parents might be afraid to say out loud in public. This might delight some readers and outrage others, but it’s most valuable in those cases (especially her commentary on postpartum depression) where her bluntness might help a parent on the brink realize that they’re not alone, not crazy, just in need of a bit of help. She can be unexpectedly serious at times, as in that case, but not very often – most of the book is sheer rollicking humor.
Do not read this book, however, if you are particularly easily offended. The author addresses personal, intimate, and/or controversial topics, whether it be speculation on possible lesbian Disney princesses or long discussions of her children’s bowel habits, just as she addresses all others – fearlessly and head-on. Her frequent use of profanity can become somewhat tiresome in places, almost a form of punctuation or an accessory to a persona rather than a really forceful emphasis.
If you’re an exhausted parent who’s just gotten a chance to put your feet up, and you really need something to brighten your day, pick up this book. But not in front of the kids – they’ll want to know why you’re laughing so hard, and they really shouldn’t read this until they’ve got kids of their own.
Reviewed by Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader